Towards a Single Market and Economy

Stabroek News
December 12, 2000

Protocol 1 - Restructuring of the Organs and Institutions of the Community

In an effort to popularise the movement towards a single market and economy Stabroek News will be publishing a summary of the nine Caricom Protocols that provide the legal basis for its establishment and operation. We acknowledge our indebtedness to a booklet prepared by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Barbados on the Protocols which has been of great assistance.

Protocol 1 deals with a restructuring of the organs and institutions of Caricom to enable it to play the role required of it in the Single Market and Economy. By restructuring its various organs and institutions the Community would be able to function more efficiently.

The Conference of Heads of Government is the highest decision-making Organ of the Community and is assisted in this role by the Community Council of Ministers, which is the second highest Organ. These work together with other lower-ranked organs such as:

- The Council for Finance and Planning (COFAP);
- The Council for Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR);
- The Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) and;
- The Council for Human and Social Development (COHSD).
Protocol 1 Obligations

- Signature and ratification.
- Participation in the various councils and organs of the Community.
- "To respect the exclusively international character of the responsibilities of the Secretary - General and staff... and not seek to influence them in the discharge of their responsibilities."
- Increased contribution to the Annual Regular Budget of the Caricom Secretariat, which is located in Georgetown, Guyana.

Benefits and Implications for Guyana under Protocol 1

Under each Protocol, Member states are required to carry out specific functions and adhere to certain rules.
Under protocol 1 Guyana stands to gain:

* A more efficient functioning of the Community
* Improved decision-making in the organs through voting by a qualified majority, except in the Conference of Heads of Government, which remains by unanimous vote.
Guyana's Status

* Signed on 19 February, 1997
* Instrument of Ratification deposited at the Caricom Secretariat on 29 September - 1997

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